Agent Carter is more like a miniseries than anything else, which makes each episode a little difficult to review on its own. When the show is over, I can’t wait to binge watch the entire series, because it’ll be like an eight-hour movie. I’m stuck in a bit of a hard spot, though, because I also don’t ever want this show to end. Last night’s episode was just as excellent as all the episodes that preceded it, and it also raised the stakes for everyone in Peggy’s orbit. Spoilers below!
In “A Sin to Err”, the jig is up for Peggy. Sousa goes to the prison and meets with the guy that Peggy handcuffed to a chair in “Bridge and Tunnel” and shows him Peggy’s picture. The guy positively identifies her, and Sousa takes his findings back to the SSR. Meanwhile, Dooley and Peggy are questioning Dr. Ivchenko from last episode, and Peggy firmly believes that one or more of the girls from the training facility last episode have infiltrated New York and might’ve been the ones to steal Howard Stark’s weapons. She rushes off to investigate just in time.
While Dooley and the rest of the SSR are out tracking Peggy down, Ivchenko reveals himself to be yet another undercover agent and sends a secret message to Dottie to kill Peggy Carter. He then brainwashes the SSR agent guarding him and, presumably, walks right out of SSR headquarters. Peggy’s almost caught in her room at the Griffith, retrieving Steve’s blood; she’s only saved by some quick thinking by Angie, who distracts the male SSR agents. When Peggy’s making her escape, though, she’s confronted by Dottie, who gives her a kiss. She’s wearing the lipstick she stole from Peggy’s room, and Peggy, though she puts up a valiant struggle, faints. Before Dottie can kill Peggy, though, the SSR agents find them and take Peggy into custody.
One tenet of Agent Carter is its sexism, and that was never more clear than in this episode. As stars Hayley Atwell and James D’Arcy said in a recent interview, it’s not just sexism for sexism’s sake—it plays a clear role in the plot. Ivchenko even says, while talking about the girls in the training facility, that “women are often overlooked [and] taken for granted”. In order to get into a tall building so that she can get a message to Ivchenko, Dottie pretends to interview for a lecherous dentist and plays the pretty, naive Midwesterner—then she kills said dentist with his own drill. I outright cheered when Miriam Fry finally put her internalized misogyny to some good use: first refusing to give the SSR agents Peggy’s room number, then following them everywhere and making a ruckus so that Peggy could clearly hear them coming. Angie also uses her questionable acting skills by just crying all over Agent Thompson, who, like many men, have no idea what to do with a crying woman. Both Thompson and Sousa turned away from Peggy’s hiding place to try and comfort her, while Fry went on and on about actors and emotions.
I have to say, though, that I was not expecting that kiss between Dottie and Peggy. I’ve seen some people gleefully proclaiming that that means that Peggy is definitely bisexual, and while that would be great, don’t get me wrong, that kiss was in no way consensual. It’s clear that Dottie only did it to incapacitate Peggy, and it’s equally as clear that Peggy was resisting. I do wonder why Dottie chose to kiss Peggy instead of doing something like hugging her and stabbing her in the back, which is what I first expected. Possible queerbaiting aside, I like the idea that Dottie has too much respect for Peggy’s fighting skills to want to take her in a real fight. Whatever the reason, it worked out for her—Dottie escapes with her cover intact, and by the time dinner rolls around, it looks like she’s left her room permanently.
Peggy’s always wanted the respect of her male coworkers, so it’s such a bittersweet punch to the teeth to see her finally get what she wanted in this episode. When Sousa asks if handcuffing Peggy is really necessary, Thompson, who saw her fight in the Soviet Union, says that it is; when she’s locked in an interrogation room in the SSR, Dooley tells them “don’t go easy on her ’cause she’s a woman”. Angie and Dottie use the men’s sexism to their advantage earlier in the episode, and Peggy has before; it’s unfortunate, though exciting, that this is no longer an option for her. Now that she’s a threat, the men see her as an equal. Which really says something about them if you think about it.
There’s only two episodes of Agent Carter left, and with the show’s status quo of bumbling agent and badass Peggy thoroughly dismantled, the show looks like it has a lot of stuff to cram into the final two episodes. I’m a little worried as to whether or not they’ll be able to pull it off; it seems like there’s just so much to wrap up! So please give us another season, ABC! See you all next week.